Be Aware and Beware: Mountain Goats Could Lick Your Car in Colorado (Watch the Video)

Mark Star
Colorado Parks and Wildlife/Getty Images

This behavior is quite unusual.

The mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) lives high in the mountains. This Colorado wildlife species is one of my favorites. Mountain goats are more closely related to African antelope species than domestic goats. The approximate weight of a male mountain goat is 300 pounds, while the female mountain goat tends to be about half that size. They are called billies and nannies. Both of them have horns and feed on grasses and flowering plants.

Where to Find Mountain Goats in Colorado?

According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), the best places to view mountain goats along the Front Range are Mount Evans and Grays and Torreys Peaks. They can also be spotted in the west, near Independence Pass and Cottonwood Lake (close to the Cottonwood Pass), both in the Sawatch Range and close to the Million Dollar Highway in southwestern Colorado. They remain active in the morning and sometimes come out to forage in the evening.

Video Shows Mountain Goats Licking Car on Mount Evans

A video was uploaded on Twitter that shows mountain goats licking a car on Mount Evans. Instead of feeding on the flowering plants or grasses, they lick the salt off the tires of a vehicle. This type of behavior is very strange and unusual. You may watch the video below.

Maintain a Distance

If you are on Mount Evans or in another place in Colorado where mountain goats are present, you should maintain a distance. According to a press release, “photos from Mount Evans, Colorado, are raising controversies after showing crowds of tourists getting within several feet of wild mountain goats and their kids. The most common wildlife-human encounters included goats and bighorn sheep licking vehicles for salt.”

People have been requested to maintain a distance. In 2018, many unnatural behaviors were seen when bighorns and mountain goats were found licking vehicles for the salt on them. They had put their heads inside the vehicles and ran toward the people holding food.

You may not spot a mountain goat at midday as they rest during that time. However, you should never get too close to these large animals. I suggest you use binoculars or a spotting scope to get a clear view.

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